Surrey councillors, from left, Laurie Guerra, Mandeep Nagra and Allison Patton. (Now-Leader file photos)

OUR VIEW: Surrey councillors must lead by example during COVID-19 pandemic

Surrey’s ironically named Safe Surrey Coalition is taking it on the chin this week

Surrey’s ironically named Safe Surrey Coalition is taking it on the chin this week for the activities of three of its four councillors during this pandemic.

Of course, this health crisis is all new to us, and is developing at a fast pace. So it’s no surprise people don’t always get it right, including civic leaders.

That said, politicians at all levels surely know their behaviour is subject to constant scrutiny, and the optics of Councillor Laurie Guerra reportedly being in Mexico during this pandemic, Councillor Mandeep Nagra attending a city hall presser – on COVID-19 safety, no less – only 10 days after returning from a trip to India, and Councillor Alison Patton hocking certain naturopathy treatments and supplements online – which she has since taken down after the College of Naturopathic Physicians of B.C. issued a public notice – do not look good on them.

READ ALSO: Surrey councillors under fire for behavior concerning pandemic travel guidelines

READ ALSO: Surrey councillor under fire for naturopathic COVID-19 offers

We have all had it drilled into us the do’s and do-nots related to doing our part to help curb this pandemic.

To that end, members of the public have cancelled their international travel plans, have engaged in self-isolation, and we’ve all read of cases where people are profiteering during this crisis.

Our city’s public figures must necessarily realize that their conduct is under the spotlight, especially in times of crisis, simply because they are called on to lead by example.

That leadership must be unblemished, at least as much as reasonably possible.

And when, for reasons real or imagined, it is brought into question, the result is a diminished credibility that does nobody good.

Especially at a time when we all need to pull together to get through this pandemic, our government leaders must bring to the public eye their very best game.


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